The Colombian Vice President will meet his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on January 28.
In a press release from the Vice President’s office, Angelino Garzon stated that the trip has two main objectives, the first of which is to ask the U.S. Government and Congress to extend the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) by two years. The other top priority is to lobby for the ratification of the FTA between the two countries.
“It is important to reiterate that when we talk about the signing of the FTA, we are talking about a win-win situation. It is neither about personal favours nor unilateral gifts, it is an agreement of mutual benefit, just as it is with the other countries that Colombia is working with,” he said.
The Colombian Vice President will also hold talks with members of both the Democratic and Republican caucuses, Trade Representative Ron Kirk, labor unions, and members of Human Rights NGOs.
Garzon will be the highest-ranking official of President Santos’ government to visit the U.S. capital since Santos took in office in August. The Vice President’s series of high-profile meetings will be followed by the arrival of Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera on January 31, who will meet his U.S. counterpart Robert Gates.